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2009 Mercedes Benz GL320 BlueTEC Review & Test Drive

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Filed under Automotive, Featured, Mercedes-Benz, SUV, Test Drives

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The award-winning seven-passenger GL-Class-the first full-size SUV from Mercedes-Benz-gets a timely new model for 2009.  Joining the fully equipped, 382hp GL550 model and the highly successful GL450, the fuel-sipping GL320 BlueTEC diesel features a new AdBlue exhaust treatment system that helps it meet the most stringent 50-state emissions limits.

The GL320 BlueTec is changing consumers’ dated perceptions about today’s diesel engines-it gets surprisingly good performance, very quiet running, and extremely low exhaust emissions, in the process of delivering 20-30% better fuel economy. With an EPA highway fuel mileage rating of 23mpg/highway, 17mpg/city, the seven-seat SUV boasts an impressive cruising range of up to 600 miles at highway speeds.  With V8 like pulling power the GL320 BlueTec can tow up to 7,500lbs. with the optional Class IV trailer hitch.

2009mercedesbenzgl320bluetecbadge01smallBlueTec is a modular system that includes an oxidation catalyst and a maintenance-free particulates filter as well as new techniques for reducing nitrogen oxide emissions-the last type of exhaust gas that’s higher in diesel vehicles than gasoline engines.  The BlueTec diesels use an NOx storage converter in combination with an SCR catalytic converter and AdBlue injection to lower NOx emissions.  The AdBlue system (technical name: urea SCR system) injects an aqueous carbamide solution into the exhaust flow, which releases ammonia reducing nitrogen oxides to harmless nitrogen and water in the downstream SCR converter.  Just the right amount of AdBlue for a given engine load and speed is injected to get the greatest reduction in nitrogen oxides.  On average, only a quart of AdBlue is needed for every 600 miles driven, so its tank only needs to be serviced every 10,000 miles as a part of regularly scheduled maintenance.  BlueTEC owners who are used to taking in their car for scheduled maintenance will hardly know the AdBlue tank is there.

2009mercedesbenzgl320bluetecengine01smallThe diesel-powered GL320 BlueTEC all-aluminum, 3.0 liter DOHC 24-valve turbocharged V6 engine delivers impressive performance, low exhaust emissions and great fuel economy.  With 210hp and a healthy 398lb.ft. of torque, the GL320 BlueTEC features an innovative V6 diesel engine with the torque of a V8 and the fuel economy to rival some four-cylinder engines.  Equipped with the latest CDI (common rail direct injection) technology, this electronically injected diesel engine is changing consumers dated perceptions about diesels.

Mated to this high-tech engine is Mercedes-Benz advanced 7-speed electronically controlled automatic with Direct Select and driver-adaptive shift logic 4MATIC permanent AWD transmission 2009mercedesbenzgl320bluetecpanleft01smallthat drives all four wheels.  You also have the option of holding down the shifts with paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

Underpinning the new GL320 BlueTEC giving you a smooth controlled ride is 4-wheel AIRMATIC air suspension with a double control arm front suspension with air springs, gas shocks and stabilizer bar.  The rear features four-links, air springs, gas shocks and stabilizer bar.  Optional is ADS adaptive damping front and rear.  Comfort or Sport mode can be dialed in by simply pushing a button on the lower center stack.  A thick strut tower brace up front ensures quick response handling and steering dynamics at high speed.

2009mercedesbenzgl320bluetecheadonactiondirt01smallWhen you driving destination challenges the off-road the GL320 BlueTEC is right at home with the ability to lift the chassis up to 3in. by pushing a button, and there is also a hill descent, driver-activated off-road driving program, and hill start buttons on the lower center stack that helps you reach you off-road destination safely.

Maintaining control on the road or off-road is taken care of by electronic stability control, electronic traction control and active body control, all coming standard.

Steering this big sport utility is easy via the rack & pinion speed-sensitive hydraulic power assist 2009mercedesbenzgl320bluetecrearaction01smallsteering system that is perfectly weighed for slow city traffic and high-speed traveling.

Quickly slowing this heavy sport utility down from speed are very large vented steel disc brakes, 14.7in. up front, clamped by dual-piston calipers, and 13in. rear discs clamped with single-piston calipers.  Keeping you in control is standard ABS and Brake Assist.

The GL320 BlueTEC rides on giant 20X8.5in. front and rear aluminum wheels that are wrapped with Goodyear 275.50R20in. all-season radial tires.

The interior is like sitting in your living room with 2009mercedesbenzgl320bluetecdashboard01smallseating up to seven adults with exceptional spaciousness and hallmark M-B luxury on par with the S-Class.  The interior is highlighted with leather all-around you-on the dashboard, door trim and leather upholstery.  Brown bird’s-eye maple wood trim, aluminum and chrome accents also give the GL a truly luxurious touch and feel.  The Nappa leather, multifunction steering wheel feels perfect in your hands and features power tilt/telescope, and buttons for the audio system, and driver-information readouts.

Other standard equipment inside not mentioned above includes power folding split 3rd row seats, 8-way power adjustable front seats with driver-side 4-way pneumatic lumbar control, 3-stage heated 2009mercedesbenzgl320bluetecfrontseats01smallfront seats, push button start/stop, 3-zone electronic climate control with air filtration, dual map lamps, corner illuminating front fog lamps, dark-tinted privacy glass, grab handles above each door, fixed panorama sunroof over the 3rd row, power rear quarter windows and double sunvisors, all express up/down windows, power door locks, roof rails, power exterior mirrors with electric heat/power folding,

self-dimming rearview mirror, rain-sensing intermittent windshield wipers, rear window intermittent wiper and washers, retractable cargo compartment cover, and easy entry/exit control for the 3rd row seats.

2009mercedesbenzgl320bluetecfrearseats01smallThe standard COMMAND system features a large 6.5in. color display screen with a standard in-dash six-disc DVD/CD changer and a Bluetooth interface that allows a cell phone to be operated through the truck’s audio system while still in a pocket or purse.  It can be equipped with an optional iPod/MP3 interface, SIRIUS satellite radio, HD radio and an enhanced voice control system.

The COMMAND screen can play tracks stored on a data CD, DVD or SD memory card.  The system can also display maps and directions for the optional hard-drive navigation system, which can be set up for SIRIUS real-time traffic info and Zagat 2009mercedesbenzgl320bluetecrearcargooneseatdown01smallrestaurant ratings.  The GL320 BlueTEC can be equipped with an optional 610-watt digital Harman/Kardon Logic7 surround-sound system with Dolby digital 5.1 audio system and a rear-seat entertainment system that includes two 8in. screens, wireless headphones and dual-source DVD player.  Options not mentioned above include a power moonroof, rear view camera, Parktronic, keyless go, 40GB hard-drive, 4GB music register for download of music files, power folding mirrors, power liftgate, 115-volt AC  power outlet and ambient lighting.

Standard safety features include PRE-SAFE  predictive occupant protection system with active front head restraints, 9-airbags with 11-way protection, seatbelts with belt force limited and 2009mercedesbenzgl320bluetecrearcargoallseatsdown01smallpretensioners, reinforced steel body cage with crumple zones and safety cell, roll-over sensors and trailer stability assist, Tele-Aid emergency calling and communication system rear door child safety locks, LATCH system for the 2nd and 3rd rows, automatic anti-theft alarm system night-security illumination with locator lighting, variable focus halogen headlamps with programmable automatic lighting system, extended mobility tires, and a tire pressure monitoring system.

The all-new GL 320 BlueTEC sport utility vehicle from Mercedes-Benz extends their leadership in 2009mercedesbenzgl320bluetecinstrumentcluster01smallmiles per gallon technology without having to rely on a hybrid system that would increase the base price.  It is packed with all the latest high-technology mechanical and luxury features that is hard to match from any other luxury manufacturer.

Just sit back and watch the gas stations go by on your journey as you have 600 miles on the open road between fill-ups behind the wheel of this full-size ultra luxurious sport utility that can take you wherever you want to go.

2009mercedesbenzgl320bluetecrearseatcontrols01smallThe base price for the all-new GL320 BlueTEC is $48,200.00 and my fully-loaded model was stickered at $17,125.00 including destination charges.

COPYRIGHT:2009:HARVEY SCHWARTZ

SPECIFICATIONS

Price: MSRP $58,200

Type: Large SUV
Where Built: United States
EPA Class: Sport Utility Vehicles

Dimensions

Exterior
Length: 200.6 in.
Width: 76.4 in.
Height: 72.4 in.
Wheel Base: 121.1 in.
Ground Clearance: 7.8 in.
Curb Weight: 5313 lbs.
Gross Weight: 6944 lbs.
Interior
Front Head Room: 40.1 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 58.3 in.
Rear Head Room: 40.6 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 58.9 in.
Front Leg Room: 40.3 in.
Rear Leg Room: 39.5 in.
Luggage Capacity: 14.3 cu. ft.
Maximum Cargo Capacity: 83 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 7

Performance Data

Base Number of Cylinders: 6
Base Engine Size: 3 liters
Base Engine Type: V6
Horsepower: 210 hp
Max Horsepower: 3800 rpm
Torque: 398 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 1600 rpm
Maximum Payload: 1631 lbs.
Maximum Towing Capacity: 7500 lbs.
Drive Type: AWD
Turning Circle: 39.7 ft.
0-60mph: 7.9 seconds

Fuel Data

Fuel Tank Capacity: 26.4 gal.
EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway/Combined)
Automatic: 17 mpg / 23 mpg / 19 mpg
Range in Miles:
Automatic: 448.8 mi. / 607.2 mi. / 501.6 mi.

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